Have you ever wanted to go to Mars, without actually going to Mars? Now is your chance and instead of a rocket ship to space, all it takes is a plane flight to Houston.
The program will take place at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, with the first of three missions set to launch – figuratively - in fall of next year.
The agency hopes to study "how highly motivated individuals respond under the rigor of a long-duration, ground-based simulation."
The four crew-members chosen for each mission will live in a 1,700-square-foot module that will simulate potential challenges during a mission to the Red Planet, including "resource limitations, equipment failure, communication delays, and other environmental stressors."
"The analog is critical for testing solutions to meet the complex needs of living on the Martian surface," Grace Douglas, lead scientist for NASA’s Advanced Food Technology research effort at Johnson Space Center, said. "Simulations on Earth will help us understand and counter the physical and mental challenges astronauts will face before they go."
The agency said it's seeking healthy applicants between 30 to 55 years old. Selections will follow the same criteria as NASA’s astronaut candidate program. More information about qualifications can be found on the agency’s online application, which is open until September 7.